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Without a trace....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chicknmania, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Do foxes hunt during the day? We have three small hens and one small young cockerel MIA. A couple of weeks ago in the middle of the morning I heard a crash in our woods near our yard as if something pouncing; heard a chicken scream, then they all freaked and took cover. They were all present and accounted for at the time, but next day one was missing. The second and third ones just dropped off the face of the planet. The last one to dissapear was a very small banty; she escaped from the banty pen and became an independant spirit; refused to be caught, and preferred to forage by herself. Not surprising that she dissapeared. We're pretty sure they're dissapearing during the day while out foraging; not at night. And we have found no trace of feathers, bodies, or anything, which is why I think it might be a fox. What is weird was, the other day I thought I heard the missing little roo crow off in the distance somewhere. Just once. Could they be going wild? And if they were, why would that be, and wouldn't we see them once in a while? Not sure if this post is in the right place, since this is more of a mystery than a predator problem; don't think there's much we can do if they're dissapearing out of our woods. Just curious.
     
  2. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like it could be a hawk, or owl, or other bird of prey just swooping down and grabbing the chickens up.
     
  3. chrissieg

    chrissieg Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm in England, all my losses have been by foxes during the day, must be 30+ over the last couple of years!

    If they are small birds they will just grab them and be off - there will only be feathers if they put up a fight or are too heavy to run with.

    It may be that your roo just panicked and flew off. I do hope he turns up! [​IMG]
     
  4. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I thought it might be a fox cause I know they'll carry them off, whereas many predators just eat them on the spot. I haven't seen any hawks, and usually we'll see them hanging around if they're after our birds. We've had so much predator activity in the past few months, but mostly in the barn at night. We have finally stopped it (we think!) at least temporarily. I'm hoping Dusty roo is still around..he was such a cutie, and just learning what fun it is to be a free range chicken...Brat, the littlest banty hen that dissapeared, came back! Yea! Either she was setting somewhere, or maybe there is something to that running wild theory????! Thanks for the info.
     
  5. bassfishrman

    bassfishrman Out Of The Brooder

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    i had 3 disappear one day and 1 the next between 8 and 11am. It was as if they just disappeared. There were no feathers. I suspect foxes. My neighbor said she saw 2 a few weeks ago. I have ordered a trap and plan on trapping them this weekend.
     
  6. Judymae

    Judymae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had something (predator I guess) visit our run one nite. It musta been big because the gate on the run was busted in. My hens were okay but 2 of my roos were gone. While we were fixing the coop and calming the girls my oldest son heard oneof the roos off in the distance. We got on our boots and headed onto the property in front of us. Very thick in brush! We ended up finding both roos with in about 5 minutes. [​IMG] We couldn't believe our eyes! I thought what ever attacked might come back but so far it hasn't. That was over a year ago!
     
  7. Royal Oaks Ranch

    Royal Oaks Ranch Out Of The Brooder

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    Fox, coyote, bobcat etc all hunt whenever they are hungry.. Daytime, nighttime, whenever ....And right now they have litters of their own to feed so are having to spend more time out hunting...You can catch fox and bobcat in live traps, but coyotes are very rarely ever caught in a cage trap.
     
  8. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Very interesting. I'll be listening for Dusty to crow again, but so far have not heard him anymore. We have all of the predators everyone has mentioned, but, our general rule here is...if they stay out of the barn, they're ok. We moved here to be closer to the wildlife and have provided a natural habitat for them on our twenty acres. We don't feel it's fair to trap them in their natural environment, especially when we're not sure what's happening to our chickens. We had to trap and dispose of two raccoons in our barn, and that was bad enough. Our dogs are a pretty good deterrent, most of the time. And usually, the roosters are pretty observant, and know when to sound an alarm or take cover. I was also interested to watch our hens this morning take cover when the crows started harassing something in the woods.
     
  9. Nbird

    Nbird Out Of The Brooder

    Just last week, about 8 AM we lost 8 chickens to a fox (or maybe a pair of foxes, not sure). It was swift and efficient and my husband tried to shoot one with the shotgun, but Fox was already too far away. We also have had mass murder by coyotes during the day. SO.... 3 days ago we got a couple of llamas! They are temporarily fenced in around the coop, so the chickens are in with the llamas. We have heard from lots of neighbors with chickens and llamas that they rarely lose a chicken to predators. Here's hoping!!! I don't want to go through the grief process over and over and over!!! We got the chickens, just on a lark, love them, now have llamas. There must be a name for this type of domino effect! [​IMG]
     
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    central Ohio
    I have heard that, too, about the llamas. It'll be interesting to see if they work; please do a follow up. Little Brat has dissapeared again; not seen since yesterday.
     

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